Shield Bearers

The battle of Faerun

This Adventure Log is from the Point of View of Death Eater

The first months of the change are confusing. We are faced with things that we can’t possibly grasp, no matter how obsessed we were with the occult in life. I saw my first ghost when I was six. Like most, it was a relative. He was one that I was not particularly fond of. I was always a precocious child, so I understood that this was not something I could share with my mother. She believed apparitions of all kinds were the work of the devil. They are tricks the great enemy played to lure the faithful from the path of god, but even in death Tio Hugo’s evil was uniquely his.

The psychological impact of being able to see the invisible on children is similar to child abuse. We tend to react inappropriately in social situations. We can be fussy, withdrawn, afraid. We cope through drugs, sex or any other form of escape. We can see the long term impact in the behavior of Collin, Connor and myself. Yes, I know I am self aware enough to know I’m odd.

I was proud of the organized research the pups put together. Sitting at the Black Dog, the four of them put together a picture of what was happening. The neighborhood of Weequahic is a new neighborhood. It was formed in the early 20th century, and it became the home of Jewish immigrants. For years it prospered, and it produced many intellectuals. The downward decline in the sixties after a cabal of mages named the Gentiles. They manipulated the real estate market, crime and ley lines to set off a downward arch.

Manipulating the real estate market was a common tactic at the time. Greedy real estate agents would create a false sense of danger in neighborhoods, and they buy out properties from white owners at bargain prices. Then they would jack up interest rates and sell them to minorities. They would create the illusion of violence by minority youth, thereby causing fear in the majority. The result was an increased perception of young minority men as dangerous.

The result was the mass production of negative essence by the unwitting diabolical blockbusters and the occult inclined. Poverty, crime and desperation seized urban neighborhoods around the country. Weequahic was no different with the rise of crime impacting the overall success of the neighborhood. Since then it has been a steady source of cadavers, ghosts and dangerous spirit. It is that leak in your house that you can never fix.

When Dr. Vincent Halprin and Leslie Green wound up on my autopsy table, I did not expect that was going to set this series of events in motion. The spirit which that damn Urdur Bloody Maw let get away was responsible for several murders. The crimes had two things in common. First, the perpetrators acted suddenly. They seemed to completely lose control. Second, the perpetrators don’t remember doing it.

They all report having dreams afterwards of the devil. Three months ago, just after Halprin was murdered, a woman named Kilee Moss was overcome with jealousy. She threw her boyfriend Benjamin Lane down the stairs. This happened in the Brick City Ghost territory. Maybe Wiseman would have handled this spirit for us if he wasn’t too busy dealing with Maw. Two months ago, back in Weequahic, a gang member named Jeremia Halstand was beat to death by a homeless man named Ivan Arce with a lead pipe. Two Weeks ago, a Nixon Ramirez beat his brother Barron Ramirez to death over a girl named Lisa Klein.

This provided the pups with a firm location, and a way to identify the spirit’s activity. Kara and Craig’s research eliminated other possibilities. Then a call came in from Detective Riveria letting Kara know that he was actively investigating a crime fitting the M.O. that she was looking into, but that he thought this specific person was faking it. I’m still not sure what made him think it why it was important to tell her. I generally find Riviera to be lazy, but he surprises me from time to time.

The crime scene was at the Arms, and the pups went there in the shadow. The Arms is a bad place to be. A good number of its residents have come across my table. Most of the time it is people overdosing, but there have been a number of violent crimes. Behind the building there was a battle happening between a large demon and group of bale hounds. The demon was clearly winning. After observing it, the pups snuck off. Two of them got the sense they were being watched, and they took steps to ensure they weren’t followed.

Connor was able to identify the demon as being from some fantasy novel series, and the pups decided to pay a visit to the nerds. Luckily the one they needed, Jason Meegle, was home alone. He helped fill in the gaps for the rest of the pack. There is a novel series called Forgotten Realms that he loves. He was focusing, willing the jealousy that lay in his heart to push Leslie to do something to Professor Halprin. Thoughts of the demon Errtu from Forgotten Realms intruded into his thoughts. That was when the violence started. Using a combination of their gifts, Collin’s occult knowledge and Connor’s knowledge of the setting… the group figured out the likely ban and bane of the demon. A magic summoning circle would keep him in place. A holy weapon would kill him.

I have been living in this world a long time, and I have run into a few items that could be considered blessed. Most of these end up in the hands of hunters, as if their mission to destroy the supernatural leads them to items of holy power. These items are rarely weapons though, and there is usually consequences to using them. The pack decided to take two courses of action. First, they would ask for help from the Apostate mages Angel and Bleak. A course of action I would advise against, but Broadback has asked me to let them make their own mistakes. Second, they decided to seek out a person who participates in a Forgotten Realms LARP. It is my understanding that this person truly believes that he has the favor of a god.

So, my understanding of the universes complexities is more comprehensive than most. I know for example that believing in something hard enough, for long enough as a people can result in it truly existing someplace in the universe. That means, this Faerun place where this demon comes from, must exist in the vast complexities of the universe. Bleak explained this to the pups, and she promised she would get Angel on board to help. She also said she would deliver them a weapon.

I knew something like this was possible, but I have been unable to find an explanation that satisfies my curiosity. Maybe the magic used to bring this demon to life pulled it from there, or maybe the cigar those boys smoked filled a similar function to group belief. These are possibilities I will have to investigate. Whatever the truth, I have to admit I did not expect that the mages Bleak contracted with would produce the weapon itself.

The LARP person they contacted ended up being unneeded thanks to Bleak coming through, and the pack went about planning their ambush. Errtuu was to be drawn to an abandoned Baptist Church near the center of the neighborhood. Craig used Black Earth, Red Hunger to know when the demon Errtuu approached. Inside the church Angel set up her summoning circle, and she prepared for the ritual. Kara, Collin and Scythe readied themselves on the Loft to attack from above. Craig readied himself at Angel’s side.

The demon came through the door, breaking the frame around it. Crawling underneath the pack. They had laid the perfect trap for it. That didn’t make the battle less dangerous. The demon’s head was equal with the loft, and its pig like face was contorted with rage. It knew Angel was summoning it. As it stood, it lashed out at her with its steel beam like sword. The demon was there.

Craig positioned himself to intercept Errtuu from being able to advance on Angel’s position and bore the brunt of mammoth blade which Errtuu wielded as if it were as light as a common long sword. Kara charged from her position atop the loft leaping from it on to Errtuu himself, literally throwing herself in to battle with the demon. Connor, armed with the holy weapon obtained from Angel and Bleak began to rain bolts of lightning into the demon’s formidable hide. While powerful in their own right it was evident Kara and Craig would have a difficult time breaking through the demon’s exterior, whereas the arrows from the holy weapon seemed to slice through skin, muscle bone and sinew alike. Errtuu turned his attention to Scythe atop the loft, summoning bouts of fire, setting the young pup ablaze along with the church himself. Collin immediately tasked himself with ensuring Scythe and the church itself didn’t immediately turn into burnt kindling, summoning the assistance of water spirits to quell the blaze which Errtuu was casting forth.

Kara and Craig continued their skirmish with the Demon himself finding purchase with tooth and claw ripping asunder the demon all while Scythe continued to release arrows of lightning from the holy weapon and Collin kept the whole of them from turning to ash. Their plans and preparation along with whole hearted commitment and trust each member would adhere to the plan set forth paid dividends as before long the demon fell as Craig leapt forth, teeth clamping down on the demon’s throat a veritable font of blood and viscera cascaded from the gaping wound left behind as the demon fell to his knees before the pack.

It was a good battle. One that earned them much renown with the spirits and our kind. One unfortunately the mortals will never fully appreciate. In one way though, they are lucky, the spirit was not as powerful as it should have been. Limits were placed on it because of the nature of its creation. Let us hope they fare as well against true monsters, born completely of resonance and over time.

The Battle of Faerun was won, but the cost of their victory was the freedom of the Mage known as Bleak. She traded her service for the weapon which helped them defeat the creature. She traded her life so other might live. I hope Collin and Connor remember the cost of their wolf blooded nature, because she is about to embark on an equally costly journey.

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